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Heavy rains damage Chilean fruit

Seasonal Chilean fruit crops such as blueberries, table grapes, and stone fruit are reporting serious damages due to intense rains in the central ad southern areas of the country, and in some cases hail, as reported by ASOEX.

Ronald Bown Fernandez, President of the Association of Fruit Exporters of Chile AG (ASOEX) stated, in a second report, “we are living a very complex time for the sector and the country. At this time, we have received new reports of splitting in blueberries from later areas, especially in the Brightwell and Ochlockonee varieties, while in the Las Call variety the situation is under evaluation. However, the damage observed so far will affect the production and export volume of this 2020-2021 season.”

Regarding stone fruit, especially peaches sand plums, Bown stated that there is a loss of fruit either due to partitioning or possible rotting.

He goes on to indicate that table grapes are a very damages crop, not only with cracks that already evident but also due to the fall of vineyard trellises. “In Rancagua, an important are in the production of this fruit, the Thompson variety is already showing evidence of “mal de media luna” or “half-moon syndrome”, associated with a fungus that rots the grain and harms any attempt to commercialize the fruit” stated Bown. Adding to this, hail fell in the area recently, of which the effects were being evaluated.

“It’s unfortunate what’s happening at the country level, and in the fruit sector in particular, since this front of bad weather adds to the challenges that our industry has been facing, especially due to the pandemic and the shortage of labor, apart from the worrying outlook in China for our cherries. Although, we know that the production volume and exports will be affected, assessing the level of impact on the sector today is difficult, even more so when it continues to rain in some areas and others are inaccessible. And there are effects, such as rot, that can be seen in more detail as the days go by. We hope to have a more complete report during the next week”, stated Bown.

Marco Campos is Media Coordinator, Latin America, for Blue Book Services.